The 30th annual National Hog Farmer World Pork Expo New Product Tour featured products that provided cost savings in key production areas from feed usage to heating. Animal care and comfort continue to be top-of-mind among the companies introducing products at this year’s event.

A stellar panel of four pork industry experts felt the slate of new products nominated this year did a good job of addressing pork industry needs. The panel reviews the features of each new product carefully, asks questions and discusses the new ideas and
concepts while pondering how the products would function in a typical hog operation.

This year’s New Product Review Panel included:

Kevin Hugoson is a farrow-to-finish operator who works with a number of contract growers as part of his family operation near East Chain, MN.

Barry Kerkaert is swine veterinarian and industry consultant with the Pipestone Veterinary Clinic in Pipestone, MN.

John Patience is a professor of animal science specializing in swine nutrition at Iowa State University, Ames, IA.

Steve Pohl is a South Dakota State University Extension agricultural engineer in Brookings, SD.

As they made their selections, the panel reinforced the need for companies to provide solid research data to back up claims about a product’s attributes.

Summing up their thoughts about this year’s tour, the panel provided the following observations:

“We saw some truly innovative things this year,” Patience says. “My biggest concern is some products may be coming to market before the research has been done. We wanted to see products that are proven to do what they say they will do for producers. On-farm research is a big part of the development process.”

“We saw lots of usable technology,” Pohl notes. “It is important to look at considerations, such as what the standard operating procedures may be in order for a particular piece of equipment to operate successfully. Service after the sale is also crucial.”

“Some things that need attention in the pork industry are being considered. There were a number of good ideas presented. Of course, there is a tremendous amount of responsibility on the part of the consumer to evaluate products based on what is right for their operation,” Kerkaert adds.

“Feed is a big expense for producers, and several of the products dealt with more efficient feed usage. This is an area of great interest and importance to the pork industry. We want products that are useful for producers and that have been tested and are practical,” Hugoson concludes.

Eight Products Selected

The panel reviewed 16 products and services nominated by companies prior to World Pork Expo. A brief description of all nominated products appears on pages 52-54 in the May 15, 2011 issue of National Hog Farmer. Among those, the panel selected eight nominees as the “most promising” products displayed at the 23rd World Pork Expo held in early June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines.

The following products were selected and discussed by the panel: